It’s tough to be a colored person in America and it’s not due to racism alone, but also due to many other reasons. One of these is the non-inclusion of black lead characters in cartoon strips, comics and cartoon films. The popular cartoons are always dominated by white characters, which is not really the real face of the US.
Here’s is a black comic artist and children’s book illustrator from Philadelphia, Tyron Handy, who suffered, like others of his ilk, of existing in a white-dominated cartoon world. Says he, “There weren’t a lot of cartoons that I felt represented me much growing up – most black characters in cartoons and TV shows were stereotypical side characters and the best friend of the white main character. Black kids need to be able to see more representations of themselves in the media.”
Tyron set out to set things right by reimagining popular cartoon characters under black skin. What he did was different, as he succinctly explains, “Most recreations that I see are just people putting designer clothes and jewelry onto the characters and changing their skin color. My recreations really look like they could be parallel versions of the characters.”
Although Tyron has been posting his works on Instagram since the last two years, it’s the reimagining of his favorite cartoons replaced by black characters that made people sit up and take notice. The instant popularity of his ‘transformed’ white characters on the social media platform has attracted over 18,000 followers on his page.
Tyron’s ultimate aim is to be an inspiration for the next generation of black artists. He also hopes to run his own animation studio, where he can create more cartoons with black lead characters that “will better represent the black experience.” We certainly wish him luck!